Wednesday – Technology and Kids

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Kid’s and Tech Use

Recently we found a blog written by a pediatric occupational therapist who was commenting on the American Pediatric Associations recommendations on children’s use of technology. Here is the article link. The APA’s recommendations are referenced and linked to in the article as well.

She makes some interesting points and the chart located at the bottom of the article that lists the recommendations for certain types of technology for certain ages is definitely a topic to address. Here’s the gist (but make sure to check out the chart on your own by clicking the link above:

Technology Use Guidelines for Children and Youthtech comp:tablet

Age: 0-2 years – No technology use at all.

Age: 3-5 years – 1 hour/day: Non-violent TV (no other technology use)

Age: 6-12 years – 2hours/day: Non-violent TV (no other technology use)

Age: 13-18 years – 2hours/day: Non-violent TV and Handheld devices; Non-violent video games or violent video games (limit to 30mins/day; Never online violent video games and or pornography. 

Other Technology Use includes: Handheld Devices, Non-violent video games, violent video games, Online violent video games and /or pornography. 

We, at Learning Foundations, are big proponents of using certain technology for assistance in school as well as for learning and studying. Reading this article created a great discussion and made us really consider how we regulate our own kids at home and in our work. The APA’s recommendations are very conservative, but also seemingly in-line to an extent with how we were brought up as children (when not in or the very beginning of the tech age).

Upon the conclusion of our own discussion, we were curious to what know what our reader’s and client’s would think on this topic and we also wanted to present the information as an idea if technology regulation has never been a consideration in your family. Mostly, we would love to hear back from you! All sides, all comments! There is a little bubble up by the title of this blog where you click and add a comment. Please start a conversation with us and let us know what you think about this woman’s article, suggestions, and the APA’s recommendations. Are they realistic? Feasible? Do you regulate technology in your family? Why? How? If you don’t, then why? 

Looking forward to hearing from you! And feel free to share this link with your friends.

  1. Pamela Iken
    Pamela Iken01-12-2015

    I definitely agree that we need boundaries on the use of technology in our families–not just for the kids, but for us adults too!
    Our family (I have 4 kids, ages 6-15) is allowed an hour of “tech time” per day, with 2 days a week of absolutely NO “tech time”. On “no tech days”, even my husband and I try to ignore our phones and computers as much as possible. It’s good for all of us to remind ourselves that we can function without tech.
    I would ask, what about technology that stimulates brain processing? Supports learning? Expands our learning into auditory/kinesthetic/visual modes?
    Your thoughts?

  2. Tori O'Brien
    Tori O'Brien01-12-2015

    At first, when I read the article and recommendations I thought that is nuts, but then I began to think about what it was like when I was growing up and the rules my parents enforced on us in regards to video games and television. We were only allowed one show a day for television and most times those choices were regulated until high school. It set a great precedence before we were old enough to exert our own opinions. Mostly the show choices were educational of some sort and we would watch after school. We could have anywhere from 1.5 to maybe 3 hours a day (3 was rare!) because we could watch the show our brothers or sisters were watching and thus increase our own TV time, but after that TV was off for the day! We had to read, play outside, do homework, amuse ourselves and it was great! Nintendo and computer games time was also regulated. I don’t think we were really allowed to play more than an hour a day and sometimes it counted as our TV time. We always read out loud as a family at night or played a board game – rarely did we watch TV together (as we got older I do remember watching my hour show with my Mom at night, but again that was it all day – we were too busy otherwise!) Phones were not an issue as I didn’t get a cellphone till I went to college – so I think that is a harder thing and will be a challenge for parents today. Our phone time though was regulated – 30mins at a time max. It was time to hang up with that friend or guy when the timer went off and believe me – my brother was waiting because he wanted to call his girlfriend – so landline phones made for easy regulation. Sounds strict, but I think it all helped us have active imaginations and brains. I want to stick to these types of guidelines with my own kids as much as possible – I want them to use their imaginations, learn to love exploring and reading and learning. What you put in is what you’re going to get out – and that is very true for our minds as well.

    With today’s technology used for learning – I think if it’s supplemental to learning it’s okay and that even educational games should be time regulated especially at very young ages. Kids need to learn to amuse themselves without technology and explore the world around them. Just as our TV shows when we were young were educational – the video or game time could be regulated/restricted and used only for educational games. This sets a precedence early and will hopefully carry on as the child ages.

  3. Jennifer Price
    Jennifer Price01-12-2015

    Technology is such a battle at my house so I was intrigued by this article – since the American Pediatricians Association posted these limits. I have to say, for my family, zero technology is nearly impossible. Our rules are simple and technology is considered a privilege when you play games and a tool when you need to write a paper. Like Pam, we limit video games to 1 hour/day and on Sundays we have no technology. I realize how important it is to role model a good balance. Me and my husband rely heavily on technology for our jobs, but it’s important to walk away and practice balance. I feel like my job as a parent is to teach moderation. Not easy.

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